Saturday, March 13, 2010

Jo Peterson is a natural beauty

Posted By on Sat, Mar 13, 2010 at 4:00 PM

click to enlarge ROCK SHOW: “Klamath, CA 2009” by Jo Peterson
  • ROCK SHOW: “Klamath, CA 2009” by Jo Peterson

Size doesn’t always matter. The most powerful works in light dark near far, Jo Peterson’s exhibition of drawings on view at Sandler Hudson Gallery, are two small squares hung near the gallery’s entrance. The 6-by-6-inch “N.C. #3” and “N.C. #4” mix media, including inkjet print, vine charcoal and acrylic glazes. Bare tree branches dance across the canvases. They run like inky spills on paper and map every nuance of the tree’s limbs. Shadows from nearby trees fall behind, melting and fading into the foggy surface. The works are at once highly representational and abstract.

The larger mixed-media works “Prairie Creek #1” and “Prairie Creek #2” are equally dramatic. Peterson employs a range of tonalities to create the effect of light filtering through trees. She vividly captures the moment of being alone in a sunlit virgin forest. The artist’s palette of grays imbues her landscapes with richness and balance. That nearly all the drawings are based on photographs is evident in their variations of grayscale and cropping at the edges.

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